The Avengers (1961–1969)
2 user 1 critic

Girl on the Trapeze 

Dr. Keel rescues a girl who tries to commit suicide by jumping into the Thames River. He discovers that the young lady is a trapeze artist with a visiting circus and foreign agents seek to ... See full summary »


Don Leaver


Dennis Spooner (teleplay by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Ian Hendry ... Dr. David Keel
Patrick Macnee ... John Steed (credit only)
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... Zibbo
Ingrid Hafner Ingrid Hafner ... Carol Wilson
Delena Kidd Delena Kidd ... Vera Korsova
Howard Goorney Howard Goorney ... Supt. Lewis
Edwin Richfield ... Stefan
Mia Karam Mia Karam ... Anna Danilov
Ivor Salter ... Police Sergeant
David Grey David Grey ... Dr. Sterret
Dorothy Blythe Dorothy Blythe ... Box Office Clerk
Ian Gardiner Ian Gardiner ... Policeman
Andy Alston Andy Alston ... Turek


Dr. Keel rescues a girl who tries to commit suicide by jumping into the Thames River. He discovers that the young lady is a trapeze artist with a visiting circus and foreign agents seek to capture her in order to force her father, a defecting scientist, to return to his country behind the Iron Curtain. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

11 February 1961 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Episode #15, "The Frighteners" was long thought to be the sole surviving episode of the first season. The other 25 episodes made in 1961 were believed to be lost forever as a number of episodes were broadcast live. However, in 2001, the 1961 episode, The Avengers: Girl on the Trapeze (1961), was discovered in the United States (odd considering the first season wasn't sold abroad; the first 15 minutes of the very first episode, The Avengers: Hot Snow (1961), were also found at this time, both within the UCLA archive), whilst a print of The Avengers: Tunnel of Fear (1961) surfaced in 2016. See more »


Carol points to part of the circus poster dedicated to "Vera... whose death-defying dive of ninety feet will astound you!" Keel looks at this but somehow adds her surname as he muses, "Vera Korsova..." See more »


Dr. David H. Keel: [after Lewis sneezes] You should be in bed with a cold like that.
Supt. Lewis: I would be if people didn't jump in the river.
See more »

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User Reviews

No Steed but still a treasure
25 December 2010 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

Not until 2001 was this long lost episode discovered in the archives at UCLA, a curious place for it to be found, as none of the pre-Emma Peel entries were ever shown in the US during the 1960s. Not only that, but Patrick Macnee's John Steed is totally absent ("The Far-Distant Dead" was the only other one without him), leaving Ian Hendry's Dr. David Keel to carry the story partnered by Ingrid Hafner's Carol Wilson, who barely figured in the other surviving episodes, "The Frighteners" and the recently rediscovered "Tunnel of Fear." Definitely a lost treasure now happily found, it also completes every appearance of three series veterans, Kenneth J. Warren, Edwin Richfield, and Howard Goorney. Dr. Keel spies a female suicide jumping off a bridge to a watery death, only to later discover that the nameless girl actually died from a fatal injection of barbiturates. Perhaps in a nod to Hendry's previous series POLICE SURGEON, we have a police surgeon examining the corpse, played by David Grey (who later did "All Done with Mirrors"). Accompanied by his faithful nurse, the doctor discovers that the dead woman was a trapeze artist for a circus playing its final night in London, where they insist their star attraction is alive and well, her face swathed in bandages since an 'accidental' fall. All the characters are well drawn, acting uniformly excellent, especially Howard Goorney, later to be seen in "The Undertakers," as the Scotland Yard superintendent who fears he may be coming down with the flu (a rare instance for THE AVENGERS where the police are directly involved). Playing the head villain Stefan is Edwin Richfield, who went on to do five more episodes- "The Removal Men," "The White Elephant," "Too Many Christmas Trees," "Dead Man's Treasure," and "All Done with Mirrors." It is Richfield who provides the one obvious blooper, calling the superintendent "Inspector" before quickly making the correction (the old pros simply carry on!). Kenneth J. Warren plays Zibbo the clown, who recognizes Dr. Keel among the crowd awaiting the arrival of Scotland Yard (he later did "Intercrime," "The Little Wonders," and "Epic"). Playing high wire performer Vera Korsova, the fetching Delena Kidd gets to show off her bare legs in a one piece circus outfit. Appearing unbilled is dwarf actor Skip Martin, playing Otto, Zibbo's clown partner; best known for roles in 1961's "The Hellfire Club" (Peter Cushing), 1964's "The Masque of the Red Death" (Vincent Price), 1973's "Horror Hospital" (Michael Gough), and Hammer's 1971 "Vampire Circus," where his evil clown was a frightening visage. Some sources list Nadja Regin ("From Russia with Love," "Goldfinger") playing Anna Danilov, but the less attractive Mia Karam receives credit in the role. Another source lists Patricia Haines playing the corpse of the trapeze artist, but that is clearly not her in the one close-up. As the following 8 entries have yet to be found, the next available episode is number 15, "The Frighteners," our first glimpse of Patrick Macnee's irreplaceable John Steed.

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